Optimizing fire department operations through work schedule analysis, alternative staffing, and nonproductive time reduction
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This thesis conducts a policy analysis exploring how current fire department policies can be modified to optimize employee availability to lead to higher staffing levels and lower sick leave and injury leave usage. Work schedule modification, alternative staffing models, and the reduction of nonproductive time through health and wellness initiatives are the three options examined in this thesis by using data from the Dayton (Ohio) Fire Department. The findings of this research are that schedule modification and the reduction of nonproductive time by initiating wellness programs may increase employee availability; alternative work schedules tended to increase injury rates and the potential for political and legal conflict. These findings should be applicable to fire departments across the country, most of whom address the same budget shortfalls and force-strength challenges.
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